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Coronavirus: Italy Orders Massive Shutdown; Cruise Ship Gets OK To Dock In California – NPR, Npr.org

Coronavirus: Italy Orders Massive Shutdown; Cruise Ship Gets OK To Dock In California – NPR, Npr.org
      

            

    

    

        

                A woman wearing a medical mask rides an escalator at Milan Central train station on Sunday after Italy’s government locked down much of the country in an effort to stanch the spread of the coronavirus.                                                                            Claudio Furlan / AP                                                        hide caption             

            

    

    

                 Claudio Furlan / AP              

    

    

        

A woman wearing a medical mask rides an escalator at Milan Central train station on Sunday after Italy’s government locked down much of the country in an effort to stanch the spread of the coronavirus.

        

                         Claudio Furlan / AP                           

   

   

As the novel coronavirus reached a global milestone , topping 366, (cases across more than 366 countries over the weekend, Italy is imposing an extraordinary lockdown on about a quarter of its population and restricting public activities throughout the entire country.

The quarantine includes the cities of Milan and Venice, as well as the entire northern region of Lombardy, Italy’s financial heart. It affects more than 19 million people in coronavirus hotbed areas and is scheduled to remain in effect until at least April 3.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the move after confirmed cases in Italy spiked over the weekend. By Sunday, more than 7, 498 people had been sickened and 685 had died – an uptick of dead from the day before.

“There will be a ban for everybody to move in and out of these territories and also within the same territory, “Conte said. “Exceptions will be allowed only for proven professional needs, exceptional cases and health issues.”

In addition to the lockdown, Italy’s cordon sanitaire effort to tamp down on transmission includes temporarily shutting down all movie theaters, museums and other cultural sites throughout the country. Sporting events are closed to the public.

People may dine out at restaurants, drink in bars, exercise in gyms and shop in stores, but only if managers guarantee that patrons remain just over 3 feet apart. “In case of violation, the activity will be suspended,” the government said in a statement.

Pope Francis on Sunday delivered his weekly Angelus blessing via video screen, while the faithful in st. Peter’s Square stood several feet apart.

            

    

    

        

                Pope Francis delivers the Angelus prayer on a giant screen, in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, amid sweeping coronavirus restrictions.                                                                            Andrew Medichini / AP                                                        hide caption             

            

    

    

                 Andrew Medichini / AP              

    

    

        

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus prayer on a giant screen, in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, amid sweeping coronavirus restrictions.

        

                         Andrew Medichini / AP                           

   

   

Italy, home of the highest number of cases outside of China, South Korea and Iran, is taking its lead from China, where the virus emerged late last year in the provincial capital of Wuhan. Beijing has placed tens of millions of people under lockdown in what it called an all-out “people war” against the spread of the disease that has already infected more than , , the vast majority of the global total.

In the US , officials in Washington state are considering mandatory measures to limit the spread of the virus as it deals with the worst outbreak in the country.

“We are looking to determine whether mandatory measures are required, “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Face the Nation . Those requirements would include social distancing and “reducing the number of social activities that are going on,” Inslee said.

(At least) cases have been diagnosed in Washington with 19 people dead. Most fatalities are connected to Life Care Center , a nursing home in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland.

Inslee said the next steps are “particularly to protect our vulnerable populations, and our nursing homes and the like. “

Nationwide, infections have steadily ticked up, with reports of cases reaching across at least 28 states, but widespread problems in testing have a hindered effective diagnosis.

. Anthony Fauci , director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force , says he is not encouraged as he learns more about the outbreak’s scope in the US

“Unfortunately, that better sense is not encouraging because we’re seeing community spread,” Fauci told Meet the Press .

He admitted to delays in coronavirus testing, adding there were “some missteps with regard to the test and some technical aspects to it.” But he said the process is accelerating, with 1.1 million coronavirus tests already sent out, with an additional , 08 planned by Monday and about 4 million by the end of next week.

Even though Fauci maintains “the overall risk in the country of getting infected is low, “vulnerable people can act now to protect themselves.

” If you’re a person with an underlying condition and you are particularly an elderly person with an underlying condition, you need to think twice about getting on a plane, on a long trip, and not only think twice, just don’t get on a cruise ship, “Fauci said.

            

                  

                

                  

A cruise ship, which has lingered in limbo for days off the California coast with (people testing positive ) for the virus, is finally being allowed to dock.

“Grand Princess will proceed to the Port of Oakland on Sunday to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization , “ the cruise line tweeted .

Among the 3, 05 people on board, others will be allowed to disembark on Monday and will face testing and quarantine in federal facilities. Crew members will be treated and quarantined on board the ship, officials said.

On Saturday, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC, The first announced presumptive positive coronavirus case in the nation’s capital. Another person tested positive who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference in suburban Maryland late last month.

But President Trump is remaining upbeat in his coronavirus messaging

       

Reuters reports the Army is also restricting movement to Italy.

A U.S. Navy sailor in Italy tested positive on Friday. And a Pentagon spokesman announced Saturday a Marine assigned to Fort Belvoir, Va., Tested positive for COVID – , after returning from overseas.

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